JP General Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh homegrown tomatoes are an amazing late-summer treat, and making our recipe for tomato sauce is a great way to extend the season’s bounty into the fall and winter months. We grow four large, assorted tomato plants each year that produce too many to eat fresh!

Tomatoes – use what you have. Mix it up! Red or yellow big beefsteak, smaller Roma style, and even cherry tomatoes each add a unique flavor and consistency to a delicious sauce.

The amount of sauce depends on the volume of fresh tomatoes you have. We suggest starting with about 20 lbs. of medium to large tomatoes to make 4 quarts (8 pints) of sauce once cooked down. (Click here for printable PDF.)

Yield: 4 quarts approx.
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 60-90 minutes
Total time: 2 to 2.5 hours


  • 20 lbs fresh tomatoes (approx. 60 medium-large)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf

NOTE: Substitute fresh herbs as desired; adjust measurements accordingly.


Rinse and cut tomatoes into large slices. Remove seeds if desired. Chop slices into smaller pieces for a chunkier sauce. (Option: Blanch whole tomatoes and remove skins if desired, but not essential.)

For a smoother sauce, add chopped tomatoes to food processor with blade attachment or blender and puree. (We love our Norpro Sauce Master 1951 food strainer from It easily removes the skins and seeds from the mix, leaving a wonderful seedless, rich sauce base.)

Process tomatoes in small batches, pour sauce base into large bowl, and set aside.

Chop onion into fine pieces and sauté in small sauté pan with olive oil over medium-low heat. Crush and chop garlic cloves, add to onions, continue sautéing until onions are translucent; avoid scorching.

Put sauteed onions and garlic in 8-quart stock pot over medium-low heat; stir in salt, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Add sauce base and bring to a light boil.

Reduce heat and simmer without lid over medium-low heat for 60+ minutes, stirring on occasion. The longer it simmers, the thicker and richer the sauce. Remove basil leaf.

Enjoy immediately over pasta, rice, or with chicken. Or store for later use.


Refrigerate up to 3-5 days. Can or freeze to store longer. We freeze our sauce in 16 oz. plastic freezer containers. Frozen keeps up to six months, longer risks freezer burn or off flavors.

JP General Traditional Wooden Trug - Fall tomato harvest


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